Lighten Up: The toughest task in the gym

Cathleen Kronemer

By Cathleen Kronemer

If you were to ask 10 different people what they think is the hardest part about working out, chances are you would get 10 different responses:

– “The weights are so heavy!”

– ” It’s hard to make time in my busy schedule!”

– ” I am always sore the next day!”

The list goes on and on. I have found that the hardest part of working out is having patience with oneself. When the decision is made to join a gym, or embark on an exercise program, most individuals are quite eager to get to work, anxious to see results as soon as possible. While this is completely understandable, progress does not often come as fast as most of us would like. If one’s goal is to lose a significant amount of weight, for example, it is good to remember that the current physique did not develop overnight. Thus, physical changes in a positive direction are also not going to be evident right away. The same is true if one’s goal is to add a significant amount of lean muscle mass.

Acknowledging that there is no “quick fix”, the best solution is to set small goals, and to think of them as stepping stones along the path to a healthier you. Once these small goals are established, plan for ways in which to reward yourself each time one is reached. Rewards might have nothing at all to do with the goals themselves, and of course shouldn’t be anything that might sabotage the long-term efforts! (OK, so that just took a trip to Cold Stone Creamery right off the list – sorry!!!) There are lots of ways to celebrate your progress, reminding yourself that each goal reached is bringing you closer to revealing the new you. Have patience with yourself, set a comfortable pace, and find the joy in the journey!